Last week, the New York State Chief Information Officer and Office for Technology (CIO/OFT) joined over 200 industry officials in a session to discuss how the state could leverage emerging strategies in cloud computing. New York joins a growing choir of states, from Michigan to California, who are examining the benefits of delivering hosted IT services over the Internet.
State CIO Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart said her team is looking for ways to reduce IT spending by increasing shared services across the state.
“By exploring emerging technologies and modern concepts we can identify innovative ways to lower costs of operations and improve IT customer service delivery,” she said.
State officials from the NYC Department of Information Technology Telecommunications, the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, state Department of Labor, and NYS Office of Mental Health were also in attendance to discuss how their organizations could further their missions through a cloud-based service delivery model.
They discussed how efficiencies could be impacted by having systems available on-demand from anywhere Internet is available. The officials also spoke with an expert from Michigan about how to be “cloud ready” and the types of applications best suited to be hosted in a public cloud.
Bob McDonough, Cloud Computing Lead Architect for the Michigan IT Office of Enterprise Architecture, said the possibilities were limitless for state government. From law enforcement to back-office processing, cloud computing has the unique ability to lower cost and improve service delivery, while meeting strict security and governance requirements, he said.
Michigan is one of several states looking at the technology. California, Colorado, and Utah have all made public requests for information to strengthen shared services through cloud computing. According to a recent INPUT survey, software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service solutions for state and local governments are expected to be a $2 billion industry within the next five years.
In addition to the state and industry leaders attending the informational session, Dr. Radu Sion, Assistant Professor of Computing Science at Stony Brook University and director of the CEWIT Cloud Computing Center spoke on the benefits of cloud computing.
“Today, with computing embedded in the very fabric of our society we are finally about to reap the benefits of decades of research and development,” Sion said. “Utility computing has arrived and is staying.”